President threatens to cut FEMA funding amid political turmoil

Friday, January 11, 2019

Representatives from the state of California are reeling following a Wednesday, Jan. 9 tweet from President Donald Trump that threatens to withhold funding provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest[sic] fires that, with proper Forest[sic] Management, would never happen,” Trump’s 7:25 a.m. tweet reads. “Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!”

The social media post comes at a time when Southern California communities including Malibu are dependent upon FEMA for fire relief assistance. Last week, FEMA representatives told the Surfside that FEMA’s Woolsey Fire disaster relief program will continue to operate at full strength despite the current government shutdown. 

In light of Trump’s recent comments, Sen. Henry Stern and Assemblymembers Jesse Gabriel, Christy Smith, Jacqui Irwin and Richard Bloom issued a joint statement. 

“It is unacceptable to use victims of the fires in California as a bargaining chip in the negotiations to get the federal government working again,” the statement said. “FEMA has done critically important work providing assistance to families and businesses throughout our community — and we urge the federal government to double down on those efforts, not restrict them.”